Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?

By Betty Jane Bailey; J. Martin Bailey | Go to book overview

Jordan

The modern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was created following World War I when Great Britain received a League of Nations mandate for the region of Palestine. Transjordan, established as a separate mandatory state, gained independence in 1946 and became the Hashemite Kingdom in 1950. Today Jordan continues to enjoy strong economic and personal ties to both England and the United States. Jordan’s relation to the Holy Land is both historic and strategic. In biblical times, Jordan was home to Amorites, Moabites, Edomites, and others. There are references in the Gospels as well. A credible location of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River is on what is now the Jordanian side, just north of the Dead Sea. Farther north is Pella, one of the cities of the Decapolis visited by Jesus and the disciples and which offered hospitality to fleeing Christians who sought to escape Roman forces in A.D. 66 and 135. Following the Council of Nicea, Pella was an important episcopal see.

During the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, Jordan occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Its strong interest in the Muslim holy places on the Haram al Sherif became formal during that period. Since 1967, Israel has controlled the West Bank, but having signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, Jordan today plays an increasingly significant role in the search for stability and peace throughout the region.

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Who Are the Christians in the Middle East?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • More Praise for This Book i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Our Love Affair with the Middle East- An Introduction xi
  • Part I - The Churches of the Middle East 1
  • A Western Christian Appreciation of Eastern Christianity 3
  • The Future of Christians in the Arab World 12
  • The Churches of the Middle East Now Work Together 22
  • The Importance of Jerusalem to Christians 32
  • A Timeline of Christianity in the Middle East 37
  • A Word about Numbers 44
  • Part II - Profiles of the Churches 47
  • The Origins of the Diversity of Christianity in the Middle East 49
  • The Eastern Orthodox Family 56
  • The Oriental Orthodox Family 69
  • The Catholic Family 82
  • The Evangelical (Protestant) Family 101
  • The Assyrian Church of the East 134
  • Part III - Church and State in the Middle East 139
  • A Brief History 141
  • Cyprus 145
  • Egypt 148
  • The Holy Land- Israel and Palestine 154
  • Iran 164
  • Iraq 168
  • Jordan 173
  • Lebanon 178
  • The Maghreb (North Africa) 185
  • The Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia 189
  • Sudan 195
  • Syria 199
  • Turkey 204
  • Annotated Bibliography 210
  • Index 214
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